View Full Version : Alpine Boot Rental

10-04-2016, 01:29 PM
For my May trip to Rainier I am considering renting boots (La Sportiva Nepal) $56 versus $500 new. I am a little nervous about using boots that I haven't broken in. I have superfeet insoles that I switch between my winter and other season boots. Anyone have a good experience with renting boots for a trip like this.



10-04-2016, 02:33 PM
Personally I would not go near a climb like this without footwear I am very acquainted with. In other words boots I have already used that I am literally comfortable with. You may have a few options. I see you are from Lincoln so you have access to the rental boot market in the Whites. Not sure but I would check with IME in N Conway. I know they sell that boot and maybe rent it; which by the way is a fine piece of footwear. You would then be able to try the boot before you go and maybe even rent it here and take it with you so you know what you are up against. The other thing is IME has a used consignment shop which presents two other opportunities. The Nepal is a very popular boot and lots of people buy, use them for a bigger trip like you are doing and then sell them. You could do the same or you might get lucky and find a slightly used pair that works for you and then still be able to sell them. On a bigger mountain like Rainer I would be very careful and make sure your feet are real happy with whatever you put on them.

10-04-2016, 03:12 PM
Can you really rent them for $56? Is that through the guide service? That is a very good deal.

People have experiences all over the map with rental boots. But most of my observations are with renting plastics, which are pretty inflexible. You HAVE to get the fit right with those, or you'll suffer. The Nepals have got a bit more flexibility. You may just want to ask the guide company (if that's who is renting them) - what are people's experiences like with renting these boots? You could also try them on - it's possible they're just not the right shape for your foot, in which case it would be a disaster to rent them.

You can definitely find them used for a couple hundred bucks. But you'd probably need to order them from e-bay, and then you're stuck with them, even if you get the size wrong or whatever. $500 is a lot of cash money, but maybe you could use them on your day hikes this winter, break them in really well, and sell them if you're not going to use them again? Or is it possible you'll want to keep them? They're great boots and should last you quite some time, probably 10 yrs or more. $50/year is not very much money.

My opinion: you'll have enough to be stressed out about for Rainier. It would be nice to NOT have to worry about whether or not the boots you rent are going to completely ruin your trip.

10-04-2016, 03:30 PM
I would not wear unknown boots on what could be a great trip for you, and here's why. Many year's ago, as I was cutting my teeth winter hiking, I bought my first pair of plastic boots. I was so excited and went off to traverse The Tri's over to Passaconaway. Halfway to Passaconaway the front of my legs ( behind the tongue) were in so much pain, I could barely walk. The boots were just to much of an adjustment and I had taken them to far for the first hike. My descent down Pass was a horror show of pain. You run into that on Rainer, your trip will be ruined. My advice is to rent boots from IME and field test them first or failing that, buy boots and use them this winter and break them in. A major trip is no place to "field test" such a critical piece of gear, imho.

10-04-2016, 05:31 PM
I'll assume you would be renting from the guide service. I've tried on La Sportive Glacier boots before and they were too narrow for me, but if you try on a pair of Nepals locally and they fit, then I don't see why renting would be a problem.

10-04-2016, 05:34 PM
When I went last year, most of those clients who went with rentals weren't happy with their feet and blister kits were widely shared.

I got lucky with a pair of used Nepal's in my size from Whittaker Mountaineering for half the price of new. I did a number of hikes with them in the ADKs and Catskills beforehand to get my feet used to them. I found them to be a lot more comfortable than I had anticipated and in turn had no problems no summit day..

However I know that gear list is long and pricey.. (and when the guides check what's there or not on the first day they'll make you buy or rent what's missing)

10-05-2016, 08:21 AM
Great Advice!! Thanks all. Made up my mind to purchase and break them in this winter.